Appears in issues 31-35, 37-50, 60, 67, 82, 87, 88, 93 - 101, 142, 155, 159, 161, 163-165, 167-169, 171-179. Makes her first appearance in the story "What Happened Between Issues Twenty & Twenty-One".
Cameos/Mentions in issues 36, 78, 130, 157-158, 160, 162, 166, 170, 203, 218, 300.
She met Cerebus in Iest when he had become ensnared in Julius's machinations to ruin the city. Using him as a figurehead, she generated a fortune in a short time. At one point, apparently to secure his cooperation, she tried to seduce him (issue 32). She then acted as his campaign manager when he ran for prime minister.
Her next encounter with Cerebus took place in the Upper City of Iest, when he was attempting to get to the top of the Tower. Cerebus told her, "Go away," and she did--she disappeared. She reappeared in the apartment of the Lion of Serrea and, finding a knife, killed him. She later claimed it all happened as if in a dream, but the incident may have been one of the 'echoes' that occurred during that historic period (the climax of Church and State).
Astoria was arrested. Cerebus came to talk to her. She tried to seduce him again, this time successfully. As Pope, Cerebus gave himself a divorce from Red Sophia before the encounter and declared himself married to Astoria. Afterward he granted himself a divorce from Astoria. She later revealed that she wanted to see if Cerebus could get her pregnant.
Traits & Beliefs
She was an excellent manipulator, which would have made her a good politician. Unfortunately women were not allowed to hold office in Iest, so she had to manipulate others. Only she and Adam Weisshaupt were able to control the Cockroach. She told Cerebus (issue 32), "I will warn you, now, that I am used to being obeyed," which would indicate that she rarely failed to influence others.
She was extremely good at hiding her own feelings, sympathies, and motivations. For example, despite being the founder of the Kevillist movement, it was not commonly known whether she was in fact a Kevillist or remained a Cirinist.
"... I believe in state-owned prostitution, pharmaceutically-assisted miscarriages, ownership of men, guaranteed minimum incomes for women over the age of fifteen and the inalienable right to self-determination within those parameters... "
She wrote Kevillist Origins and, presumably, many other tracts.
"The evolution of Astoria, originally referred to as 'The Mary Astor' character, referring to the actress who played Brigette O'Shaugnessy in The Maltese Falcon ... I gradually changed her when I realized Cerebus has a low threshold for whining. The more competent 'n' cold version was geared to complement the earth-pig's disposition."
Q2: How did Mrs. Thatcher survive the cataclysm that destroyed Iest? It occurred right after Cerebus and Cirin ascended, didn't it? She was in the upper city close to ground zero, as were Astoria and Suenteus Po. Did Astoria and Po die in the cataclysm?
Dave: I would imagine that Astoria and Suenteus Po died in the cataclysm. She might be a different Mrs. Thatcher along the same lines of the two or three Oscar Wildes in the story. You can pick whichever one makes you less uncomfortable: Mrs. Thatcher had a miraculous escape from the cataclysm or there’s more than one Mrs. Thatcher. I’ll back up your choice 100% whichever one it is.
- "I don't know why I'm so continually surprised by males. . .it's not as if you aren't predictable. . .Your whole lives are given over to variations on 'I can pee further than you can.' How sad." Issue 96, p. 10.
- Wikipedia Article on the film The Maltese Falcon (1941)